Tenants not signing contract – Where do I stand?

by Readers Question

6 months ago

Tenants not signing contract – Where do I stand?

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Tenants not signing contract – Where do I stand?

I have some tenants who have failed to sign the renewed shorthold tenancy agreement that I have signed and issued to them. This involved a rent increase.

They were given 10 weeks’ notice of the contract renewal and agreed to meet me at the property to sign the new contract.

The excuse that I was given on arriving at the pre-arranged time was that everyone was out.

This was obviously not true as I watched one tenant leave ten minutes later.

It’s pretty obvious after all this time that I have a tenant attitude problem to deal with as neither the renewed tenancy deposit nor the signed contract has been returned and all I get is excuses from them.

I do not really wish to roll this over into a periodic tenancy and in any case I do not know how this would relate to the rent increase in the issued contract.

I assume that the tenancy deposit not being signed by them is not a problem as its renewal is formally recorded with the deposit protection people.

But where do I and they stand if they do not sign the contract and return it to me?

What rights do they and I have?

Many thanks

Jon

Comments

Neil Patterson

6 months ago

Hi Jon,

Maybe if you are now unsure about your tenants it could be a good thing that you are not locking into another fixed term contract.

From a fixed term AST without a new contract it will automatically roll into a Statutory Periodic tenancy normally with two months notice your side. This is quite normally and happens in the majority of tenancies.

However, there is obviously a reason they are not keen to extend to another fixed term so it could help to take that off the table and just have a chat with them to find out what their plans or concerns are.

Doilygal

6 months ago

As a tenant for most of my life and now a landlord, they are ignoring you as, I assume, they don’t wish to pay the rent increase and are doing everything possible to avoid doing so. Under the circumstances, I would ask them to leave and issue the relevant notice and paperwork.

Gary Dully

6 months ago

Jon, I would be happy to accept a periodic tenancy and do the rent rise via a Section 13 notice.

You already have a contract in place, that might have had some nasty administrative fee attached, that they don’t fancy paying for again.

How much is the rent rise?

If it’s a whopper, say, because of Section 24, if they don’t or can’t pay it, you will have to issue a section 21 notice and ask them to leave.

Kate Mellor

6 months ago

Hi Jon, you can't really force your tenants to renew their tenancy and fix in for another six months just because you want them to unfortunately. If the main issue here is that you want to increase the rent, then unless your existing tenancy specifically covers rent increases then, as Gary has suggested you will need to issue your tenants with a formal section 13 notice (along with the accompanying tenant guidance). This is freely available online for you to download and fill out. This is the statutory method of increasing rents and only requires one months notice.

Your only other option here is to issue your tenants with a section 21 notice and evict them if you think that is the road you want to go down.

Paul Shears

6 months ago

Hi everyone and thanks very much indeed for your replies.
After being reissued with all formal documentation, they had a reality check and finally signed up albeit somewhat late!
This is just being silly when push cam to shove as the rent increase was minimal
They could never have found anywhere cheaper never mind comparable!
I will bare all your replies in mind when I come to renew again.
It may be that I need a better tenants and I might take the opportunity to decorate etc at that time. I cannot do this at the moment due to their inexplicable uncooperative behaviour over the past six months which I have never encountered before with any previous tenants. As you know if you want to maintain a standard in a rental property then you need to put something back. If you have tenants that obstruct this, it will slowly become in a poor state of repair.
Again, as you know I am sure, some tenants simply do not notice this.
Thanks again
Jon


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